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Old Dec 29, 2010, 10:36 AM
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serasbach's Avatar
Arizona
Joined Oct 2009
139 Posts
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Need a new soldering iron, what do you recommend?

It has become pretty obvious that my soldering iron won't cut it when trying to solder on deans connectors (or any other connectors for that matter). What are you guys using? Do the small propane torch types work well for this? I appreciate your feedback.
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 10:45 AM
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Latvia, Ventspils pilsēta, Ventspils
Joined Jan 2010
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I use a broad tip medium power soldering iron out of local DIY shop, nothing special ... but the tip I actually grind back a bit on the sides to give me a better point instead of a spade. Every so often I use emery paper on it to clean up and grind it again to maintain that tip ... surprising how bad a dirty old flux / solder laden tip can be ....

I don't like soldering guns for our work as the work point is usually too big and wide too close to the job.

For away from home work - I have a 12v very narrow screwdriver like iron - and believe me - this is HOT ! It gets that hot that longer than about 10mins connected and the cable starts to get warm ! I use it for all sorts on my boat !

But main thing I look for is speed of melting the solder. If it's slow - it's no good. It has to be quick so that minimum time on joint ... especially if soldering Deans.
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 11:01 AM
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USA, WV, Moundsville
Joined Oct 2006
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if you do average to medium duty soldering AKA deans and smaller

for that type of thing i use a Wall Lenk L30K 30w iron its very good for average soldering jobs

if you plan to do larger stuff 8G wire and smaller you'll need a much more powerful iron 60-80W but on average this is too much to do deans as the heat is hard to deal with

i bought myself a Weller soldering station http://www.cooperhandtools.com/brand...c=037103191311 and a couple different tips for the different types of soldering i do ... i do not regret the 150$ cost and would gladly do it again no more burning tips no more iron too hot/too cold ect

so i guess what im saying is if your on a tight budget get the wall lenk 30w iron... if you have the extra to spare .. get the weller station you wont regret either purchase
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 12:56 PM
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ggcrandall1's Avatar
USA, GA, Marietta
Joined Aug 2005
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I just got a Hakko 936 Soldering Station. $75 from http://www.kimcodistributing.com/

Better than anything I have ever used.

Glen
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 02:22 PM
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DeuceTrinal's Avatar
Van Nuys, CA
Joined Sep 2003
1,805 Posts
Hakko 936 soldering station from Fry's, it's amazing the difference a good soldering setup makes, it's SO much easier to solder when the tip is the proper temperature and stays that way. Too hot is just as bad as too cold, heat ruins the special plating on the tips so it won't stay tinned (not shiny and solder won't stick).

Also a big fat chisel tip has a lot more thermal mass than a small one, makes a big difference doing deans or other large wires.
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 02:35 PM
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United States, NV, North Las Vegas
Joined Sep 2009
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Hakko 936 or one of the rebranded hakko's like this one that I use for 90% of my soldering tasks.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...soldering+iron

I also have one of these:

http://www.circuitspecialists.com/prod.itml/icOid/8396

Good iron but tips have to be ordered and they don't last as long as the Hakko tip no matter how well you take care of them... Still, it's a good iron.
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 02:39 PM
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United States, CA, Placentia
Joined Jun 2007
511 Posts
I just got this soldering iron and I think it's amazing. It heats up fast in 30 seconds, and gives you a green light indicator when it's ready. Fastest and hottest iron I've ever used.

http://www.frys.com/product/5617701
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 03:13 PM
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United States, CA, Garden Grove
Joined Oct 2000
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I bought a good quality Weller 40 watt soldering iron from a local Computer/electronics store fo $25. Comes with a little roll of solder and a stand. Wellers have replaceable tips in various sizes and types and they are available. If you need solder, try to buy Kester regular 60/40 tin/lead rosin core electronics type solder and electronics type rosin paste flux. New "lead free" solders are harder to solder with requiring a little more heating and better technique. Keep applying solder and wiping iron tip on a damp sponge constantly during soldering activity to keep it clean and bright. Apply solder and unplug iron when finished soldering to preserve the tip. Do not file iron tips, they will erode quickly when outer coating is removed exposing inner copper.
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 03:20 PM
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United States, CA, Bear Valley Springs
Joined Feb 2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Challenged View Post
I bought a good quality Weller 40 watt soldering iron from a local Computer/electronics store fo $25. Comes with a little roll of solder and a stand. Wellers have replaceable tips in various sizes and types and they are available. If you need solder, try to buy Kester regular 60/40 tin/lead rosin core electronics type solder and electronics type rosin paste flux. New "lead free" solders are harder to solder with requiring a little more heating and better technique. Keep applying solder and wiping iron tip on a damp sponge constantly during soldering activity to keep it clean and bright. Apply solder and unplug iron when finished soldering to preserve the tip. Do not file iron tips, they will erode quickly when outer coating is removed exposing inner copper.
+1. I got mine at Home Depot for $15. They do the job quickly, they're simple and cost effective. I've been using mine for the last 10 years. When it quits I'll just go buy another.

The secret is enough thermal mass to stay hot when soldering larger pieces together. That's why soldering guns don't work worth a rip in this use.

mw
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 03:38 PM
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Canada, ON, Kincardine
Joined Feb 2009
535 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by turbored21 View Post
i bought myself a Weller soldering station http://www.cooperhandtools.com/brand...c=037103191311
I owned a few crappy irons and made due for a long time. Then I finally broke down and picked up one of these and I am glad I did.

A proper temperature controlled iron makes all the difference in the world. They heat up very fast and can put alot of heat into something without needing a huge tip.

The only way I could have things better would be to have a station with two irons to have two difference tips and a vacuum desolderer. I have one at work but I don't think I can justify it for home use.
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 04:21 PM
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United States, NY, Syracuse
Joined Oct 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbored21 View Post
i bought myself a Weller soldering station http://www.cooperhandtools.com/brand...c=037103191311 and a couple different tips for the different types of soldering i do ... i do not regret the 150$ cost and would gladly do it again no more burning tips no more iron too hot/too cold ect
Best soldering iron I've ever used right there... used to have one at at a computer repair shop I worked at. I have the cheapest weller they make right now and it does pretty damn good for $20, but that is what I plan to buy when I have an official workshop set up.
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 09:38 PM
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United States, OR, Portland
Joined Dec 2010
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I like the general Weller kits from lowes. I've had 2 that both worked well.
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 10:07 PM
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Hakko 936 is the best in the price range. Tip and replacement heater prices are reasonable and last a long time if you take care of them.

I recently used mine to solder a small surface mount board for work while at home, and also use it to solder 16-12 gauge wires to Deans with the correct tip.
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